By Lee Davis
If the event planners for the Milo’s Breakfast Kickoff Classic at Samford University were looking for a compelling inaugural game, Homewood and Pelham were happy to oblige.
The Patriots overcame a 14-0 deficit late in the third quarter to pull out a 21-14 victory at Seibert Stadium on Thursday night. Senior running back Chestin Jones provided the spark with three late touchdowns.
The Panthers mishandled a punt snap on their own 20-yard line late in the game to set up Jones’ third and final score. He completed the night with 116 yards on the ground.
Both teams struggled with errors, as there were 22 total penalties in the game.
“We didn’t play our best, but I told our team we had a whole new game to play in the second half,” Homewood coach Ben Berguson said. “Pelham had a terrific night.”
Jones said the Panthers’ strong start put a lot of pressure on the Patriots.
“We started slowly, and we had to pick it up and do better,” he explained. “I felt that it was up to me to help get us back in the game.”
Hoover journeyed to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl to take a 23-7 win over Central-Phenix City in the Champions Challenge Football Classic.
Buc quarterback Garrett Farquhar, making his first start, completed eight of 25 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.
Barret Pickering booted three field goals.
Hoover trailed 7-0 early in the game before scoring 23 unanswered points for the victory.
“It was all about focus,” Hoover coach Josh Niblett said. “So many people in our community are talking about the trip to Texas next week (for the Tom Landry Classic). But we had to stay focused on the challenge in front of us tonight.”
Darius Farmer’s interception in the end zone on the game’s final play clinched Spain Park’s narrow 21-17 win over host Gadsden City.
The Jaguars built a 21-7 lead in the second half before the Titans staged a furious rally that almost pulled the game from the fire. Spain Park’s second touchdown came when linebacker Rayfe Richey picked up a Gadsden fumble and dashed to the end zone. Larry Wooden and Rayfe Richey also earned touchdown for the winners.
“We made a million mistakes, but found a way to win,” Jaguar coach Shawn Raney said. “It wasn’t pretty, but it was good enough.”
Mountain Brook probably didn’t pack towels and chairs for its trip to Gulf Shores, but the Dolphins probably wish the Spartans had come to their town to play beach ball instead of football. Coach Chris Yeager’s team routed Gulf Shores 56-6.
Senior running back Sam Everette raced for 191 yards on only 19 attempts. Quarterback Hamp Sission passed for 104 yards. Mountain Brook rolled up 494 yards of total offense.
Oak Mountain took an early 14-0 lead but couldn’t hold on as Class 6A’s Chelsea stormed back to win a 49-33 shootout.
Eagle quarterback Wyatt Legas passed for 268 yards and produced more than 300 total yards for the evening. Daniel Salchert scored three touchdowns in the losing cause.
Oak Mountain closed the margin to 35-33 late in the game only to see the Hornets score twice to seal the verdict.
Vestavia Hills and Briarwood didn’t open their season, but they played a jamboree game. The Rebels led 7-0 before the junior varsity squads took over in the second half.